Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Red rose bud, Rosa species.

Photographed on Manhattan’s Upper West Side
near the corner West 83rd street and Amsterdam.

Image: GrrlScientist, 27 May 2009 [larger view].

Roses originate in Central Asia. The rose has long been valued by people. For example, it was considered the “Flower of the Kings” by the Chinese. The Romans used the fragrant rose petals to produce perfume and as a symbol of luxury. Today, a red rose is typically considered a symbol of love and romance.


  1. #1 Bob O'H
    June 10, 2009

    Today, a red rose is typically considered a symbol of love and romance.

    Not up north. it’s considered the sign of a lower form of life known as a Lancy.

    The white rose is a sign of higher culture and breeding. Or so my mum would tell me.

  2. #2 DrA
    June 10, 2009

    Is GrrlScientist in tune with the Phytophactor
    or what? But remember, flowers are my turf. In fact turf is my turf.

  3. #3 ACW
    June 11, 2009

    Roses are interesting in botanical nomenclature. They are the type genus of their subfamily, the Rosoideae, which also includes strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. They are also the type of their family, the Roseacea, whose other major subfamily, the Maloideae, contains pears and apples.

    But the influence of the “rose” name goes even higher up the taxonomic tree. The containing order is called the Rosales, a very diverse order which also contains cannabis and its close relative the hop, figs and mulberries, elms, and nettles.

    In the last few decades molecular techniques have been revolutionizing botanical classification, and a couple of higher levels have been inserted and also named after the roses. All this new taxonomy strains the bounds of the old phylum/class/order system, because there are too many levels. The next level up is uneuphoniously called “Eurosids I” (there is a sister clade called “Eurosids II”). I have heard them called protoeurosids and deuteroeurosids, but this nomenclature hasn’t caught on yet.

    The protoeurosids include an enormous variety of important plants: all the squash and melons; legumes; lots of deciduous tree species like beech, birch, and walnut; coca, willow, violets; and even creosote.

    The containing subclass is the rosids, which include cabbages and mustard, and sixty six zillion other familiar plants.

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